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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera America  November 2, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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boston marathon bombings. thank you for watching al jazeera, i'm richelle carey. "inside story" is up next. is it working? you're watching inside story from washington. >> hello, i'm libby casey. a familiar theme played out in washington this week as bad news circled the white house, and the critics took their shots, fair and unfair at president obama and his administration. but by any viewing this was not a good week for the president. second terms always have their rough patches but history shows
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they can be overcomed and mr. mr. obama has never shied from a crisis. however the usually hands-on president seemed unaware of problems, and in one case just plain left out of the loop. what is a leader looking towards a legacy to do about it? >> as software glitches on the affordable care act website persist, and allied nation phone following comes to line. the president was on a high seen as above that particular political fray, but it didn't last long. according to a journal pol poll just 42% of americans approve of the president's job performance, an all-time low for president obama, indicating frustration with how he's leading the country . the signature policy the affordable air act launched.
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frustrated users and members of congress are pushing for answers. >> healthcare reform in this state was a success. it doesn't mean that it was perfect right away. there were early problems to solve. there were changes that had to be made. anybody here who is involved in it can tell that you. and by the way all the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about healthcare reform in massachusetts never came true. they are the same arguments that you're hearing now. >> reporter: as if the week went bad enough revelations of secret spying tactics are creating an uproar here and abroad. tureous though the nsa tracked the conversations of millions of citizens and some leaders.
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german chancellor angela merkel had her phone tapped as far back as 2002. obama personally apologized to merkel, but there are still questions about whether he knew about the eavesdropping. >> welcome to the white house. >> reporter: when things go wrong president obama often grabs hold of the situation and works to correct it in a big public way. >> nobody is matter than me about the fact that the website is not working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed. >> reporter: but this week he seemed overshadowed by the generals and leaders in his cabinet who instead took the heat. >> hold me accountable for the debacle. i'm responsible. >> reporter: kathleen is h sebelius endured nearly four house of questions in the white house. >> nothing that has been released has shown that we're
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trying to do something illegal. >> reporter: and it was a director of national intelligence james clapper and nsa chief general keith alexander fielding the tough questions about surveillance and spying in another congressional meeting this week. >> some of this reminds me a lot of the classic movie "casa bank can, my god, there is gamble going on here. it's the same kind of thin thing{^l" ^}. >> reporter: does the president know as much as he should, and is he in control of his administration. as he reaches for the legacy of a successful second term, is he staying above the fray. here to discuss president obama's second term and the rosenberg. he was an adviser to former president bill clinton. in new york, jeff lefkowitz
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isn't to president obama, and served as bush administration envoy to north korea. and author of recent book "jockeying for the american presidency: the political opportunism." you worked in the white house, how bad was this past week? >> i would say this is as bad as it's been for president obama. coming off the heels having stared down john boehner the government shutdown and debt limit issue, i think he got a coldish with the nsa wiretapping and more serious for him at home, the obamacare fiascoes. i think he's in for rocky waters ahead. >> we saw the president doing well compared to how badly the republicans were doing in the polls and in the public
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perception, is it timing or just a bad week generally? >> i think there are a lot of issues as jay said that are going to be resolved over the next few months that will determine what happens in the next few terms. you have obamacare, the turmoil in the middle east. you have general manager and the relations between the republican and democratic party. these things coming together or not coming together will determine his success over the next three years. >> are you taking this as a sign of things to come. >> i think it was a single week. it was not a great week. but keep in mind as tough as it was for the president the republicans are in historically bad place. we've never seen a political party where the poll numbers that the republicans have right now. he is doing relatively much better than them. but he's got to do even better, i think, to make sure that he has a strong second term. >> laura, weigh in on this and give us context. >> well, i would like to because
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i think there is something important to say about the shutdown argument. yes it is true that the president was doing better than the republicans, but i don't think that we can say that he was doing well. he also lost support during that shutdown debate. while the american people do blame the republicans for the shutdown, what we also see is that they are aren't all that impressed with the president's leadership to bring together some sort of compromise ordeal or resolution more quickly than he had. i also think an historic perspective, you realize that all presidents lose support over the course of their terms, the only exception is ronald reagan and bill clinton. to see the president in all fairness, he's more the norm than the exception. >> is the problem perception the american public saying who is in control? who is unking things?
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or is it fundamental in terms of the nsa, the spying, also healthcare, is it fundamental in terms of who actually is in control? >> i think it's a combination. presidents really have to show leadership and be in control. as much as you want to deflect to a recalcitrant or unpopular group of congressmen, at the end of the day people look to their president for leadership. there is a question about leadership. one of the magazines just commented that vladimir putin is now more powerful than president obama. obviously that's silly, but it's part of the right now. the second terms are challenging for president. all presidents have tough second terms. we're seeing now the beginning of this very difficult second-term curse.
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>> lara, so many articles are coming out discussing the president's leadership style, is he hands off? is he cold? why does that matter. >> everyone who advises you quite frankly is a competitor, opponent, or they're hopeful to receive some graces or benefits from your presidency itself. i think one of the more fascinating rattles, realities, presidents unless they're deeply engaged on what is going on them, they're able to be fooled by their advisers. when you look at president obama and president george w. bush, when you look at their approval ratings mirror each other. they show this. both these presidents had visionary styles, and then they like to delegate. by being out of the loop on many
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the details it's not surprising to me that we see policy failures in both administration. >> we need to take a break. we'll pick back up on this when we return to "inside story." >> al jazeera america is a straight-forward news channel. >> its the most exciting thing to happen to american journalism in decades. >> we believe in digging deep. >> its unbiased, fact-based, in-depth journalism. >> you give them the facts, dispense with the fluff and get straight to the point. >> i'm on the ground every day finding stories that matter to you. >> in new orleans... >> seattle bureau... >> washington... >> detroit... >> chicago... >> nashville... >> los angeles... >> san francisco... >> al jazeera america,
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>> from our headquarters in new york, here are the headlines this hour. >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> a deal in the senate may be at hand and just in the nick of time. >> thousands of new yorkers are marching in solidarity. >> we're following multiple developments on syria at this hour. >> every hour from reporters stationed around the world and across the country. >> only on al jazeera america. [[voiceover]] every day, events sweep across our country. and with them, a storm of views. how can you fully understand the impact unless you've heard angles you hadn't considered? antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours.
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>> welcome back to "inside story." we're continuing our discussion about president obama's second term. with us is simon rosenberg. from new york, jay lefkowitz, and lara brown of george washington universities political management program. simon rosenberg, the president has a vision of what he wants, then he hits reality. how does president obama get on track to try to get back to smooth the main things that he wants to accomplish before this term runs out? >> in the short term obamacare and the implementation of obamacare simply has to get better. this could be an enormous millstone around his neck. there is a lot of work that has to get done. i'm optimistic that they can get it done. we still have enormous issues
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around the budget, around the economy not producing enough jobs and increasing wages . i think the president will have to pivot back to the middle east. i think if these three big ones can continue to show improvement, i think he'll have a strong second term. i don't know that we'll see him be diminished in the public eye. >> how do you take control? >> well, i think this is wit onf those issues that the only thing that will make this better is competency not stubbornness. the president keeps articulating that he believes in the health reform plan, and unless they can get on top of it they're not going to be able to change that perception. >> there is a reality of promises made and promises
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broken. you served in two administrations, both president'presidentsbush. how do you keep promises kept. >> the first president obama never recovered from the no new tax pledge that was, in fact, broken. and the president president obama had a missed opportunity with the supreme court nominee, and then hurricane katrina did not work out in the way we would have wanted it to work out from a response perspective. but he doubled down on iraq and bucked the popular trend and the advice of his advisers by going for the surge and it was quite successful. president obama will really have to decide where he's going to focus his attention. i think it has to be obamacare because that's his real legacy if he's going to have one.
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as laura said it's about competence. he has the law passed. now he needs to implement it in a way that gains people's confidence, and he needs head winds because people don't like the mandate. >> there is the day-to-day, the big picture. >> i think he has to show himself leading on these things. the i would not be doing campaign-style speeches around the countries. i would be having meeting with the top people who are sitting there getting down to work. a lot of op-eds are continuously incorrect, and really poor when it comes to this president because every time he's criticized he goes out to the people rather than digging in to washington. >> simon, things happen.
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natural disasters happen. geopolitics sometimes take front and center, but what about self- self-inflicted wounds. >> i think we've seen a few. in washington right now that's the most important observation, the thing people are talking about the most. it's not just that obamacare was a self-inflicted wound but what happened in syria. the way the president managed the syrian fiasco before the government shutdown has raised real questions about whether the current white house team is up to the job. my gut is that you're going to see changes made in the arrangements, not that people are going to be fired or reorganization but it will be shaken up. people will be moved around to put a better team in place compared to what they have right now. >> who you surround yourself
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with could have big repercussions especially if they're worried about their own career . >> i think it's critical. second terms often suffer from a personnel perspective because there is self promotion involved. it's critical that the president surround himself with a team of people who are not looking to promote their own careers but will help him with his agenda. coming after the fiascoes in bengahzi, syria, and now the obamacare implementation he does not have a lot of time left to get it right. at the end of the year everybo everybody's eyes in washington are going to be focused on the next presidential election. i think he does have a personnel shape up coming soon. >> how much of that is just washington, and how many can someone like president obama control that? we're about to see a new book come out talking about the 2012 campaign.
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it's barely over and there is a lot of he said-she said behind the scenes. >> look, the buck stops are the president. he has to take responsibility. the economy is his. the policies in the middle east are his. he has to take responsibility. i don't really--i've been here for 20 years. you've heard a lot of democrats talk about, well, the republicans are the worst that they've ever had to deal with. it's the hand that's been dealt. he has to make it work. his legacy, will suffer, and frankly so will the rest of the country. we don't have a failed president, but he has to take responsibility to end strong, make this stuff work. >> what does that look like? what does that feel like? >> obamacare has to work. >> does that mean that president obama shaking up who is in charge of that? >> no, they've got to stay focused on fixes what's been put in place. i don't think--
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i think the technology and computer stuff will be fixed, but making a better case to the american people of how their healthcare is changing. so many people were unaware that their healthcare was going to change, and the president really didn't the changes that are going to take place. >> let me add this. i think one of the things that is starting to show up is president obama's personal approval numbers are actually going down. and that right now h he has lost support in terms of how much the people sort of trust him and approve of him. it's not just the job that he is doing. this is something that has happened to president bush as well, so it's difficult to rewin
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over people who feel as though they have been let down by you an they don't want to listen to you any more. >> we go back to what is perception. >> that's right. >> thanks so much to all of our guests on this topic. when we come back to "inside story" we'll change gears and tell you about a special event that is taking place tonight. stay with us. (vo) gripping films from the world's top documentary directors. tomorrow: it seemed like a normal adoption >> do you think this family has a lot of secrets? >> it's like there's an open book as far as the family goes. >> (son - off screen) i fully believe that i was adopted by strangers. (vo) until one day ... >> (son - off screen) i found out everything i thought i knew, was a lie. (vo) al jazeera america presents open secret
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>> audiences are intelligent
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>> welcome book "insid back to e story." america's tonight has been reporting on the problem of rape on college campuses across the u.s. it has been a hard look at campus culture, the look of alcohol and how they're handling sex complaints. here is laura dunn. >> so my freshman year in the spring semester i was at a party. i was drinking. it was my second time drinking ever in my life. i ended up having a lot of shots, over seven. i was getting very, very drunk. it was about that time that two men from my team started paying attention to me. they started walking me the wrong way. i remember saying, that's not the direction of the party. they started walking me into an apartment that was very close.
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i fell face first on their stairs. they both just picked me up and carried me up. it was almost like it wasn't happening to my body. at one point one of them got on top of me and started suppressing himsel pressingmyself into me. i remember putting my hands up saying no, i'm a virgin, please stop. i remember walking into my kitchen. my mom was kind of sitting in the living room. i said, mom, i've been assaulted. she just, you know, went into shock. she walked out of the house. she didn't even have a reaction. she just left. i forget how my dad came in, but i had to tell him. he sat down on the couch with me, and the very first thing he said was, what were you wearing? i couldn't believe my father would ask me have.
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every reaction they had, it wasn't, are you okay? we still love you. you grew up, and people warn you and they say they'll protect you, fathers, brothers. they'll throw down and kill someone if they hurt you. but the reality is when they hurt you people shrug, well, you were drunk. what do you want us to do? >> with us is joie chen host of "america tonight." such raw stories your team has been reporting on. what have you learned from this week? >> it really is a very emotional ride to hear the survivor's stories, and when you look at statistics, talk to researchers, you realize how widespread the president obama is problem is. it may have been part of the culture for a long time, but it's not something that people are ready to talk about. as we approached the story we thought, you know, this is one
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of the stories that requires a lot of nuance, thought, in-depth reporting, and it is a story that has not been reported well and frequently enough throughout major media. that's our mandate, to think about these stories that have not been approached in other places, and focused on with the depth and attention that we think that it deserves. >> we heard from laura dunn, but we heard from others on campuses. you went to many. >> we found ourselves looking at a lot of schools, public schools, private schools, big schools, little schools, the ivory tower institutions as well as schools that people call "party schools." we went to see if there was a difference. there is not a difference. we hear the same kind of stories over and over again, and the amazing thing is that if you start watching the news from
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these stories you realize these are continuing to happen on a frequent basis. just the other day at the university of massachusetts at am hurst there was an event where there was a young woman walking home, admittedly late at night. she was by herself. and a man approached her, who was a student, cornered her, she was so severely injured that she was in and out of consciousness. this is right on a college campus. bystanders sawing is amiss about that relationship and moved in and said hey, what is going on here. but the woman was quite severely hurt. you see and you realize this is a common occurrence and a disturbing one. >> tonight america tonight will meet looking at a town hall. you'll be live, why does that format lend to a discussion. >> we were able to go and isolate particular stories and
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be able to present them. but tonight in having a town hall meeting it's an opportunity for a lot of voices to be heard. it's an opportunity for a lot of people to exchange ideas. there is no complete agreement. there are people who believe that women have a certain responsibility when they go in social situations. and there is the story of young men who are falsely accused. there are contradictions, debates, and we'll have all that in our conversation with students, parents, administrators. we'll bring it all together. >> as well as the online component. >> as well, as well. >> you can watch "sex crimes on campus town hall meeting" tonight on al jazeera america. that's it for now from washington, d.c. and from me, libby casey. thanks for watching inside sto story. good night.
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>> welcome to al jazeera america, i'm richelle carey. here are the stories we're followining for you. a drone strike kills a well-known taliban leader. the shooting at lax, we are learning more about the man would open fired at los angeles international airport. eric snowdon could be traveling from russia to germany. >> the pakistani government has demanded a meeting with the u.s. ambassador to